Health Information Management

House subcommittee plans hearing on ICD-10 implementation

HIM-HIPAA Insider, February 9, 2015

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Don’t look now, but Congress is examining ICD-10 implementation again.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on healthcare will hold a hearing at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, February 11, on ICD-10 implementation. Chairman Joe Pitts (R-Pennsylvania) and other subcommittee members will hear from a “number of stakeholders” during the hearing. No word yet on who those stakeholders are. Witnesses will be announced and are by invitation only. You can watch the hearing webcast though if you aren’t invited or can’t make it to D.C.
You may remember Pitts as the person who finally took credit for inserting ICD-10 delay language in last year’s Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA). PAMA served as another patch to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment reductions for physicians.
The subcommittee has been working on another permanent SGR fix, which would eliminate the yearly drama of “will they or won’t they put off the payment cuts again.” The subcommittee had a permanent fix last year, but it didn’t make it to law.
I am a little concerned about the makeup of the subcommittee that could once again derail ICD-10 implementation. The House Energy and Commerce Committee members include physicians who are interested in ICD-10 implementation for good or ill. In the past, the broader “doc block” in Congress has been very anti-ICD-10. They have used the flaming water skis and sucked into a jet engine, subsequent encounter, as examples of why ICD-10 is unnecessary, which doesn’t inspire confidence.
On the positive side, the Coalition for ICD-10 will hold a Congressional briefing the day before the subcommittee’s hearing. The briefing will include:
  • Edward Burke, M.D., and Phillip Beyer, D.O., from Beyer Medical Group in Fredericktown, Missouri, discussing small rural provider readiness.
  • David W. West, M.D., medical director health informatics and business partners for Nemours Children’s Health System, revealing how a children’s health system plans to improve care for pediatric patients.
  • Karen Blanchette, MBA, association director, Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management, reviewing new survey results on physician office cost by the medical office managers
  • George Vancore, senior manager, systems integrator and business architect, delivery systems mandates and compliance for Florida Blue, talking about payer readiness and testing.
The Coalition for ICD-10 is a broad-based healthcare industry advocacy group that supports the U.S. adoption of the ICD-10 coding standard.
This article originally appeared on HCPro’s ICD-10 Trainer blog.

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